Nearly 150 at-bats into Carlos Peguero’s trial against major league pitching, the Mariners have decided the best place for the rookie outfielder is back at Class AAA Tacoma.
Peguero, with home-run power that entices the club but a .196 average that made it clear he needs more work in the mino
rs, was optioned to Tacoma on Sunday. The Mariners will call up outfielder Mike Carp, who was batting .343 with 21 home runs and 64 RBI in 251 at-bats with the Rainiers.
Carp was up earlier this season with the Mariners but batted .200 in 35 at-bats. He got sporadic playing time, mostly because they played without the DH in interleague games and because Jack Cust still was getting at-bats.
“We need to get Mike up here and give him an opportunity with more consistent playing time,” manager Eric Wedge said. “When he was up before, we didn’t have a DH and that was tough. We should be able to give him more consistent playing time this time.”
This season essentially is about learning who in the Mariners’ minor league system is closest to the big-league level, and they felt it was important that Peguero get about 150 at-bats in order to gauge that.
He got 143 at-bats with six home runs, 19 RBI, 54 strikeouts and a .252 on-base percentage.
“He’s had a pretty good sample size for him,” Wedge said. “We’ve been able to see some things from him, both good and other things he needs to work on. He needs to play every day to be able to do that.”
The Mariners believe Peguero has improved his defense and shown he can play left field in the big leagues. He also has shown in batting practice that he can dial down his intensity and avoid over-swinging, but he has struggled to maintain that approach in games, Wedge said.
“I’ve been really pleased with his BP and his repetition, but the next step _ the biggest step _ is to be able to take that same heartbeat and that same approach into the game because that’s an impact bat,” Wedge said. “He can do some damage and help us win some ballgames up here.
“I think he does get a little too hyped up at certain points in time. Him being able to contain that and point that energy in the right direction, that’s what we’re looking for him to do. We don’t want him to take away his aggressiveness. But we want him to be a little more disciplined up there, see the ball and trust his approach.”
Pitch gets away
The last thing Blake Beavan wanted was to hit a batter with a pitch, but when he drilled Rangers leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler in the ear flap in the seventh inning, it hurt Beavan as well.
Beavan came up with the Rangers and is friends with nearly every player, including Kinsler.
“He’s a great guy and I was worried when I hit him,” Beavan said.
Kinsler dropped in the batter’s box before getting to his feet, and he stayed in the game. Manager Eric Wedge changed pitchers at that point, and Beavan waved toward first base as he walked off the field to make sure Kinsler was OK.
“He nodded back, and that made me feel better,” Beavan said. “I haven’t hit anybody in the head since high school. That pitch just slipped. It got away from me. I was really glad when he got up.”
The Mariners’ nine-game losing streak is their longest since they lost 12 straight in 2008. … Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley, coming back from elbow surgery last year, threw 37 pitches in the bullpen Sunday morning and said he felt fine. For the first time, he added sliders and changeups after throwing all fastballs in his previous bullpen Thursday. … Reliever Jeff Gray, who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday, has appeared in three of the past six games after pitching in only three games since the Mariners acquired him off waivers from the White Sox on May13.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer